Ever since WWE superstar Roman Reigns lined up at defensive tackle for Georgia Tech during his college football days, he's fearlessly packed in the protein and calories to get huge and stay mobile. That hasn't wavered over the nearly three years he’s been part of Vince McMahon's main roster, but he has figured out some ways to refine his intake, in addition to rolling with the punches of occasional junk-food cravings.
With his company's prestigious SummerSlam event just days away, the 6’3”, 265-pound Floridian warrior broke down his approach to staying sated in prime Superman Punching form.
Know the Right Time to Eat
You always hear you've got to eat to grow, but when you essentially have a two-a-day every day, it can affect your appetite. I come from a bloodline [Samoan] where you may have heard stories about the appetite we carry. It can be tough when you're working out at noon and wrestling at nine at night to try and cram in a few meals. But that's where time management and being prepared comes in to be able to get those meals ready for when the time is right. I like to work out on a lighter stomach. I don't like to be real bloated. I like to be digested to be able to move and feel that athletic feel.
Fight Your Sweet Tooth
Most of the time, you want things you can't have. The things you ban yourself from, for some reason, your mind or body starts to crave those things. I think any type of gym rat or calorie counter, for whatever reason, the almighty sweet tooth is such a huge mountain to climb. You trap yourself away from something for so long, you can’t help but crave it.
Take Advantage of Eating In
The biggest difference is in the kitchen — if you're eating out a lot, if you're getting home-cooked meals. You're only as good as what you’re putting in. I would have been a bit smarter [in college] to dieting and how to gain cleaner weight and more muscle mass as opposed to a beer belly and things like that. I get to college and they tell me I'm scrawny and I can eat pizza and ice cream after every meal and just get heavy. I wish I had a better outlook as far as health.
Cheat if it Makes You Happy…
Do what you gotta do on a cheat day. There's gotta be some boundaries far as quantity, but if you want a cheeseburger and French fries, eat a cheeseburger and French fries. But if you’re gonna beat yourself up about it, then don’t do it. Your brain is the strongest muscle we have, so if you’re gonna hurt yourself mentally counting calories, I would try to minimize that as much as possible.
…But Make Up for it at the Gym
I go to the gym the next day. I’m up on the elliptical or treadmill or jumping rope for a half hour. It's life. That's part of it. You’re gonna indulge, you’re gonna work hard, and you’re gonna create a lot of different situations and emotions for yourself, but the important thing is to wake up the next day and do something about it. If you did something good, try and emulate that and create a streak. If you did something bad, try to right it. As long as I wake up, I can handle anything else.
Finding Balance is Key
What I try to do is not stress myself out. I eat like a caveman. If it grew from the earth or was hunted on the earth, it'll probably be OK. I don’t believe in no carbs. I think it's all situational and personal. Some people respond great to carbs, some people don’t. Some people need higher fat in their diet. Anything can work, so long as you moderate it properly. I like to think 80/20. Be strict and stay focused 80 percent of the time, but reward yourself, and that'll keep you in good spirits.